DAD launches and installs the first of the nine trail plaques


The CHALKUP21 21st-century architectural coastal trail website was officially launched on September 25th 2017 at the Pines Calyx in St Margarets Bay.

Partners who attended the website launch shared something that they liked about one of the nine structures in their introduction. Guests included The Chairman of Dover District Council, Cllr.  Susan Chandler, and representatives from National Trails, Dover Town Council, Kent County Council, Eurotunnel, The National Trust, The Dover Society, Destination Dover, The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Up on the Downs Landscape Partnership, White Cliffs Countryside Tourism Alliance, White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and Walkers are Welcome .

The event, co-hosted by Dover Arts Development and The Bay Trust, was an opportunity for CHALKUP21 partners to be introduced to the new CHALKUP21 website and to view the newly crafted bronze plaques that will mark the nine CHALKUP21 trail structures as well as the first installed plaque at The Pines Calyx in St Margarets Bay.

Architect and Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton, Charles Holland presented the plaques and shared some insights into his process of development and the concept behind his design. He said:

‘I am delighted to be involved in this 21st-century trail. The role of contemporary art and architecture in places like Dover and Deal is an important one that can sometimes be overlooked. We are used to marking historic buildings but can be more nervous about celebrating new ones. This trail will rightly mark and celebrate the best new buildings and public artworks, drawing attention to the rich recent history of art, architecture and design in the area.

The trail includes nine plaques which add another layer of experience and interpretation to the walk;  a series of markers linking the buildings which visitors can draw and be photographed with. The plaques take the form of a circular disc that has been distorted to describe the profile of the coast that the trail follows. They are both intended to be informative and sculptural objects in their own right’.

Edda Salander-Jones who designed the website with Wesley Burden from Nebulo doing the coding, presented the website and said, ‘The trail has inspired work from so many artists, photographers and writers already, it is a delight to design a website with such a wealth of creative content’.

This was followed by a film with Issy Benjamin, the architect of the Pines Calyx, which was introduced by Alistair Gould (Trustee of The Bay Trust) and Kristian Bird, a young intern with a keen interest in design, construction and working with sustainable materials. Kristian spoke about his last three years at the Pines Calyx and how the building had inspired him to work with chalk as a building material, amongst other things.

The afternoon ended with a session on co- creation as the way forward, led by Joanna Jones.’ We are looking forward to working together with each of the CHALKUP21 partner organisations to design events that increase awareness of the exciting art and architecture that forms the CHALKUP21 trail. It is from the exchange of ideas that projects form and it’s a willingness to do this with others that is co-creation. We are stronger together ’.  

All photos by Clare Smith.

Published on 1 February 2018.